PREVIEW: 2017 Ford F-150 – Twin Turbos And 10 Speeds

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Ford, America’s truck leader, continues its relentless pace of innovation, delivering segment-leading torque for 2017 F-150 customers with the all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission.

Class-leading strength is a core value in pickup trucks, and that’s what Ford is promising with the 2017 F-150’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.

Time was that a six-cylinder engine in a full-sized pickup was the economical choice. A straight six typically had enough low-end torque to get a heavy load moving, and its generally low-revving nature helped it get decent mileage, although the small-V8 option usually didn’t use that much more gas.

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Ford’s EcoBoost V6s have changed that landscape, and it’s a second-generation EcoBoost V6 with twin turbochargers that’s sliding under the hood of the 2017 Ford F-150. Ford touts a class-leading (and eye-popping) torque measurement of 470 lb.-ft. That’s impressive when you consider that Chevy and GMC come darned close with 460 lb.-ft., but it takes 6.2 liters of displacement to generate it, rather than the Ford’s 3.5 liters.

Of course, the Chevy’s 420 horsepower is significantly stronger than the Ford’s 375-hp rating, proving that there still can be no substitute for cubic inches.

Mileage ratings between the 2016 Ford and Chevy are very similar, with the Chevy having a 1-mpg advantage in its 21-mpg highway rating. Both score 15 mpg EPA city. It’ll be interesting to see where this new EcoBoost’s mileage lands when the EPA tests it.

3.5 liter EcoBoost engine close up

The 10-speed transmission is the first of its kind in a truck and is a very similar unit to the 10-speed that’s being installed in 2017 Camaros.

10-speed transmission close-up

As we continue down the road of ever-tightening mileage standards, Ford has made it clear that, in addition to adopting aluminum construction for the F-150, the company sees the answers to present and future challenges as being outside the usual gas-or-diesel-V8s approach. Full-sized trucks were once pure cash cows, where decades-old tech could generate huge profit margins.

Not anymore, and it wasn’t so long ago that you’d think it’d be a supercar running a twin-turbocharged V6 through a 10-speed tranny. Now it’s an F-150 doing it, and we can’t wait to try one.

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